Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Editorial Introduction to Issue 5

The editor introduces Ariadne issue 5.

So why is this issue of the Web version of Ariadne so big, then?

…was a question asked by several people who have watched this issue being constructed. The answer is, in one word, "awareness" (Ariadne does reside in the Training and Awareness section of the eLib programme). In a possibly noticeable change of direction, the Web version of Ariadne (WVA for short) will have a significantly heavier bias towards making its target audience aware of relevant and useful services and resources.

For example, in this issue we have a section devoted to Web-based journals of interest to librarians and information specialists/scientists, with detailed descriptions of D-Lib, the Katharine Sharp review, Provenance, Cause/Effect and MC Journal (The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship) by the people who edit and publish them. There are also contributions from the maintainer of the most popular clickable map of UK academic sites, and the builder of the PICK resource (an index of online library and information science resources that has gained much favourable comment), as well as a review of Infoseek Ultra (a search engine with a bigger index than Alta Vista and Lycos) and a brief overview of UKERNA training courses (which is of interest to managers of sites hooked up to JANET).

Also, the new Web interface for BIDS is described, while a description of the Web4Lib mailing lists, a debating/help forum dealing with many aspects of the Web being integrated into Libraries.

So, it's all about services and resources, then?

No, far from it. In this issue, the research elsewhere section has several interesting pieces, most of which concern research/work not just in the UK. The IIELR (International Institute of Electronic Library Research) is described, as is the European Libraries Programme, the Surf foundation (a major IT co-ordination service for the Dutch academic sector), and Desire, a project designed to "solve the problems which currently hamper the use of the World Wide Web as a means of giving researchers access to research data". In the same section is an article on the Journal of Interactive Media in Education, it's design, and a discussion of some of the issues behind the approach that this journal takes to the process of scholarly review.

In addition, Ian Tilsed describes the building of the main Exeter University subject tree, or index, of Internet Resources.

What about the material in the parallel print version of Ariadne?

Oh, that's all there, as usual. For example, the cover story deals with the new JISC 5 year strategy, where the main article from the print version is by Amy Friedlander, who looks at, and towards, some of the benefits of the Web and digital technology when it comes to doing and present research. In addition, the Down your way column investigates the networking setup at Edge Hill College, the Interface column describes what public libraries are doing on the Internet at the moment, while in Around the Table, Sheona Farquar looks at Web sites for the Science and Engineering community.

The eLib section in both the print and Web versions of Ariadne carries articles describing the Helix, Open Journals, Skip and NewsAgent for Librarians projects. In addition, Dan Fleming describes the Formations project and looks at some of the issues involved in adding value to a pre-prints by using groupware such as Lotus Notes.

Its getting a bit big, then…

There's more. The Get Tooled Up section contains the regular From the Trenches column from Jon Knight, where the security of Web-based fill-in forms is examined. Brian Kelly, in the article for Netskills Corner he will be providing before moving to UKOLN to become the UK Web Focus Officer, provides advice on the design of the underlying directory structure of Web sites, while Paul Miller describes the Dublin Core metadata set and ways in which it can be implemented in online data. Charles Oppenheim, in Copyright Corner, provides us with brief reviews of the more useful Web sites for legal/copyright information. In a new column, British Library Corner, Graham Jefcoate provides his Libtech lecture on "Text and the Internet". In the Public Libraries Corner, Sarah Ormes examines the advantages and disadvantages of having commercial "cyberstations" or internet points in Public Libraries, while Sue Welsh in the new OMNI-Corner section examines the pitfalls of using the Internet as a replacement for your friendly family practitioner.

…erm, how do you expect us to…

Don't interrupt!; there is also the regular cartoon, poem, the caption competition (spot the eLib project manager!), the sideline article, and several other pieces. In addition, there is a survey form which people can fill in through their Web browser. This would be very appreciated, as the feedback would help us in deciding the most appropriate future for Ariadne post- eLib funding.

…read all of this, then?

Well, if you did manage to read all of this issue of Ariadne on the Web, then you either have little or no social life (that sounds depressingly familiar {-) or a job with a suspiciously large amount of free time (which means you probably don't work in academia or in libraries!). Pick and choose the more interesting bits, leave the rest. However, you do have a good point…

The Web version of Ariadne - changes to the format

From the next issue (number 6, in mid-November 1996), articles will be appearing more frequently, in that some articles will appear in updates between issues. Basically, this means that the main issue, on launch, will contain all of the articles, reviews, items also found in the print version, as well as a number of items unique to just the web version (but a smaller number than in this issue). In the two months between the launch of that issue and the next one, there will be one or two major updates, consisting of several items in each. So instead of having one lump of over 50 things to read every two months, with nothing till the next issue (apart from the regular news clippings update section), you will have around 35 to 40 articles to read initially, with another 5 to 15 spread over one or two mid-issue updates.

The Editor's Favourite

In an indulgent mood, I've decided to pick my favourite article out of each edition of the Web version of Ariadne (having said that, I wish to stress that many of the articles in Ariadne are of great interest; this can be a drawback when editing/proof-checking, when you find yourself reading the articles out of interest instead of executing editorial duties on said articles instead). For this issue, I've chosen the article by Jadranka Stojanovski on "Croatian Libraries: The war is behind us, what brings the future?". This is a fascinating piece on the evolution of networking in Croatia and Croatian libraries since the recent war, where many of the libraries were severely damaged or destroyed (this puts the problems we have in the UK with libraries into sharp perspective, in comparison). Jadranka has been a key motivator in several areas of the library and networking redevelopment in Croatia, as well as raising four children at the same time!

We hope you find many things of interest/enjoyment in this issue of the Web version of Ariadne.